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Woodland Cottages North Devon
Woodland Cottages welcomes multiple dogs of any size or shape. All three of our holiday cottages have been designed to welcome you and your dogs. With no carpets, leather sofas and dogs allowed on the beds you can relax and enjoy your holiday. Outside each cottage has an enclosed patio looking out over beautiful views of the North Devon countryside. We have an enclosed exercise paddock and an 8 acre private woodland, perfect for walks straight from the doorstep. With plenty of dog friendly beaches, cafes, pubs and attractions nearby there is loads to explore in the local area.Read More
Woodland Cottages is the perfect place for you to get away with your dogs, we are very dog friendly and welcome dogs of any number, size and shape. We are all dog owners here and if you should wish to bring more than one of your furry friends, away with you on holiday we are more than happy to accept multiple dogs.
We have 3 self-catering cottages which don't have carpets and are fitted out with leather sofa's, so no need to worry about muddy paw prints here. The cottages are barn conversions and were sympathetically converted from stone and cob barns in 2004. The high quality, well equipped cottages face away from the farmhouse to make the most of the outstanding rural views. The cottages are cosy and homely and are a great place to come home to and relax after a day out with the dogs.
We know that it is always nice to snuggle up with your dogs especially while on holiday so as long as you bring throws or blankets we are happy for your dogs to join you on the sofa’s and beds.
Each cottage has an enclosed patio with beautiful views over the North Devon countryside towards Exmoor National Park. In front of the cottages is a large fenced exercise paddock, which is an ideal place for your pooches to run around, play and meet other dogs.
We also have an eight acre private woodland, for you to explore and enjoy. The woodland has 3 grassy rides which make it a relaxing and peaceful place to walk with your canine friends. The paddock and woodland are enclosed with stock-proof fencing so there is no need for leads here your dogs can run around and have fun safely, giving you peace of mind.
Woodland cottages is only a short distance away from some exceptional dog friendly beaches including Instow, Northam Burrows, Saunton Sands and Woolacombe. Your four-legged friends are bound to love every minute on these wide open, sandy beaches.
Dogfriendly Magazine Review
Read our comprehensive review of this listing printed in our bi-monthly magazine.
Review by: Mark Walls
There are many holiday homes, cottages and hotels that allow dogs. And then there are some that welcome dogs. But there are a few that positively encourage you to bring your dogs; places which seem designed almost more for your dogs than you. Clearly, Woodland Cottages in North Devon is one of these places. The owners have dogs and the vision for the holiday homes is totally focused around dogs. In fact, as Teenager number one said as we left to go home: “Well, you probably wouldn’t come here without your dog, would you?” Everything is designed around holidaying with your canine companion. The floors are stone, and the sofas leather for ease of cleaning and to remedy muddy footprints easily enough.
Each of the three cottages has an enclosed small paved courtyard where you can sit enjoying the sunshine and the view, and let the dog wander around. And just outside the courtyard gate there is a beautiful one-acre field, completely safe and fenced in, that your dog can run around in without going anywhere near a road or a car or wildlife. It is shared with the other two cottages but for us this was a bonus not a problem. There are also dog poo bins for each cottage, dog washing facilities if you get particularly muddy and additional freezer space for dog food if you need it. The cottages were originally a 17th century working farmstead. In 2004 they were converted into three cottages from stone and cob barns and are situated to give you privacy from the farmhouse itself and also to enjoy spectacular views across the hills.
We arrived on a Friday evening – me, Daisy the lurcher and teenagers one and two. It is not the easiest place to find and you have to ignore the sat nav when you get within a mile or two, but we negotiated the Friday evening traffic and followed the instructions on the booking letter and soon found ourselves in front of the three cottages. We were met by Kate who gave us a quick intro to the place and suggested some places to eat. Daisy ran around to shake off the journey and we unpacked. We were in Badger Cottage, which has three bedrooms. It is extremely well equipped and maintained with everything you could want for the kitchen. There was also a very generous welcome pack with tea, coffee, milk, loo rolls (everyone forgets loo rolls…), a delightful chocolate cake and some locally sourced apple juice. There is plenty of cleaning equipment.
The double bedroom with an ensuite is upstairs. However, upstairs is accessed through a beautiful, quaint but quite confined spiral staircase. Much as me and the teenagers coaxed and bribed, threatened, and enticed, Daisy would not go beyond the second or third step. It was partly the space – she is a largish and not that graceful a hound, better at speed than detailed manoeuvres – but also as she slipped on the wooden stairs. Perhaps some small bits of carpet, or something similar with a grip, could be placed on the stairs to encourage dogs like her? So rather than sleep upstairs and carry her up the stairs every night and down every morning, teenager one and teenager two were happy to share the twin room and me and Daisy took the single on the ground floor. This was not a problem for us as we were only there for two nights but would have been a bit of a shame were we booked in for the week.
(Note from the owner: A few dogs do struggle with the spiral staircase in Badger Cottage, but we have found it really hasn’t been an issue as a lot of our guests are aware of the spiral staircase upon booking. We also have an access guide that we send to guests. Our other two properties don’t have spiral staircases. In both Badger and Swallow Cottages we do have stairgates so that the dogs can’t get upstairs without the owners allowing them.)
After unpacking and exploring we followed Kate’s advice and headed off to Great Torrington to get some food for the evening. About a 15-minute drive away, there was plenty easy parking this was as good a place to start as any. Great Torrington does have most things you need: a nice fish and chip shop, a Co-Op, various other takeaways and, on the evening we were there at least, a hog roast stall. The town is apparently built on the site of an ancient settlement on top of an inland cliff with the river Torridge below. There are certainly spectacular views across rolling hills from the car park by the tourist information.
The cottage has good heating, and an excellent shower. It also has a small electric coal effect fire which adds a boost if needed. It is a comfortable place to avoid the dramatic weather, while eating your fish and chips, and is big enough that teenager 1 and teenager 2 could retreat to their room, or even the mezzanine floor, to go on YouTube, talk to their mates or play various card games, without demanding my involvement.
Saturday started very wet and drizzly, with strong winds. This didn’t stop Daisy careering around the enclosed field happily chasing a ball while I stood there wet and just wanting to go back inside for tea. My partner arrived mid-morning and we headed off to Westward Ho! As every tourist site will tell you this is the only place in the UK that has a punctuation mark in its title.
The British seaside is always a fine place to be, even when the weather is bad. Westward Ho! has all the entertainment you could want and a stunning long shallow beach. We went for a walk along the front, both admiring and pitying the surfers out on the waves and avoiding slowing down too much in an attempt to remain at least partially dry. We ate in the Waterfront, a pub that had a marquee out the back that mitigated the worst of the wind and rain and, crucially, met the Covid restrictions we were still under at the time while also welcoming a fairly bedraggled Daisy. Staff were friendly, food was good and draft beer was a rare treat.
Westward Ho! also has a rare sweet shop – So Sweet – that seems to specialise in imported sweets and drinks hard to get elsewhere. So we spent a significant amount of time and money with them before heading back to the cottage.
My partner had to head off early evening and teenager 1 and teenager 2 were involved in some online thing in their room, so me and Daisy headed out to try the cottage’s woodland walk. This is an enclosed eight-acre forest with various places of interest and some statues scattered around. It only takes about 20 minutes to walk around but gave plenty of opportunities for Daisy to explore, smell and, well, wee.
I was sent back to Great Torrington for more supplies, and we had a good evening in front of the TV with a snack and sandwiches before another quick stroll around the forest walk just as it was getting dark – with Daisy showing off her fluorescent collar. I suggested it would be quite scary if it were really dark but teenager 2 corrected me: “It’s scary now”.
Woodland Cottages are an excellent place to stay with your dogs. Extremely welcoming, very well equipped and wonderfully situated to both enjoy as they are and explore the area. It is not a surprise that they were the gold award winners in the dog friendly category of both the Devon and South West Tourism awards 2019–20.
We didn’t see the best of the area as the weather was biblical in its intensity but would love to go back when the sunshine gods are smiling upon us. Recommended.
Woodland Cottages, review by Mark Walls and appears in DogFriendly magazine issue 66. For more information on the DogFriendly magazine visit https://www.dogfriendly.co.uk/magazine
Sue Clarke, October 2021
The cottages are perfect, dogs and their owners.nothing is to much trouble for the Kate and Tim the owners .Great place to stay ,near some wonderful beaches ,for great walks .
Listing Updated: 29/09/2021
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